Behind every great man is a great … wardrobe. Yes, it’s true — at least when it comes to the handsomely clad, professionally accomplished chaps in our new series, Dress for the Job You Want, which profiles more than a few good men who have proven that success is an equation of both substance and style.
They’ve cut their teeth in the fashion industry, climbed the corporate ladder, created their own companies, and conjured plenty of new ideas — and have looked damn good doing it. For these guys, dressing for the occasion is simply part of the gig.
But you don’t have to be a fully suited, buttoned-up show-off to stake your claim in the game, as suave subtlety often wins in the end. And, with our apologies to Mark Twain, it takes a lot more than just clothes to make the man. However, a good sartorial statement can go a long way when it comes to charting your career course.
That said, there is no better fit for this series than with a man who spends his days ensuring that other men look and feel their best as the editor of the monthly grooming and lifestyle subscription box service, Birchbox Man. The multi-talented Adam Hurly also pens his own illustrated Instagram serial called The Prospectives, which you should definitely give a read. It charts both fictional and non-fictional accounts of Brooklyn-based characters (including Hurly himself) navigating the challenges of succeeding in the city.
We chatted with the Brooklyn-based, South Dakotan-bred editor and writer who could pen his own story on the power of approachable, effortless style in setting the course for success.
The Cheat Sheet: What is your background and what led you to your current profession?
Adam Hurly: I studied Journalism, PR, and film, so the three things came together for a career as an editor for a big online retailer. I spend time thinking about how brands should be discussed with the public and how our digital assets can inform and engage people while also encouraging them to become Birchbox Man customers.
CS: What do you love most about your job?
AH: I didn’t have much grooming expertise prior to this job, but it’s encouraged me to try new things — like growing out my hair or finding the right fragrance. It’s shown me the importance of refining those many little parts of my life. I feel much more confident for that reason, too.
CS: Favorite part of your 9-to-5 day?
AH: My colleagues. They respect me, and I them. I sincerely love every one of them. I didn’t know that was possible with one’s job. I look forward to being with my coworkers every day.
CS: How do you define your personal style? Any office/workday essentials?
AH: Not overthought. I spend maybe three minutes deciding what to wear. I want it to read as approachable and low-key. Nice boots, dark jeans, neutral tones are my essentials. I try to play it simple so that I look as relaxed as I feel. When it comes to dressing for the office, just wear clothes that fit. No baggy pants or ill-fitting dress shirts. Tailor your pants, or get a great pair of jeans (I like APC) that will form to your frame as you wear them in.
CS: Why should all guys care about their personal style?
AH: It’s your first impression with everyone. It informs people how you want to be perceived.
CS: How do you view the relationship between your clothes and your career?
AH: We don’t pretend to be a high-end brand. We want to help guys elevate their grooming and style game, even just slightly. I like that we value that “attainable aspiration” with Birchbox Man. It means I can wear a T-shirt and light denim if I want to because I’m not expected to project our advice from some place of unattainable prestige.
CS: Do you believe that success and good style go hand-in-hand?
AH: Success and confidence go hand-in-hand. Being stylish is, at its core, being confident. It doesn’t mean you look good in a suit; I look and feel very uncomfortable when all dressed up like that, but I do consider myself moderately stylish. I think that has to do with the fact that I very carefully consider the clothes I purchase.
CS: Where do you find some of your best sartorial statements?
AH: Union Made … end of story.
CS: Where do you like to spend your off-duty hours?
AH: My apartment, or walking around my neighborhood. A couple times a week, I’ll get off the subway a few stops early, so that I can walk a mile home.
CS: Best career advice you’ve received?
AH: It’s all about the formula. The equation for professional success is: high standards + low expectations + hard work + time.
CS: Best style advice you’ve received?
AH: Don’t buy into trends. Stick to classics; stick to neutrals. Stand out because you wear the clothes properly, not because they’re loud or call attention to themselves.